“Vrailine Smith and Ashton Cooper,” The guy checking our passports said gruffly. He smiled, his moustache moving in a funny way and let us pass. “Finally going home?” We smiled, nodded and tried not to say too much.
Our passports said that we were leaving from our holiday in Australia back to America. It was said that we had been here for six months, and our visas ran out today. Ashton was good at American accents so he took the lead when it was necessary to speak.
“Yeah, Australia has been great, dude.” Ashton said. He waved at the officer and whispered for us to keep walking forward.
I closed my eyes and tried not to let go of Ashton’s perfectly warm hand as the crowd tried to pull us apart.
When we got onto the plane, we surveyed everyone who got on after us, to make sure that no one we knew was coming with us. I wrapped my arms around myself in the silence between Ashton and me and shivered.
The plane was freezing, but it did the job of getting us to America. I slept most of the way and although I did converse with Ashton, he mostly just read the three year old travel magazines in the pouch of the chair in front of him.
I had only ever been to America once, and so when we got off the plane, I don’t know whether I was expecting a zombie apocalypse or a raunchy beach scene like in the movies, but it was just the norm. We were smiled at and welcomed home. It was only when we hailed a taxi when I panicked and nudged Ashton as we sat in the back.
“Ashton…” I hissed. He raised an eyebrow and turned to the driver.
“Lawrence, Kansas if you please.” Ashton said. I nudged him again and he decided to finally look at me. “Yes Vrailine?” He asked inconspicuously.
“Why are we going to Kansas?” I whispered.
“We have a house there 53 Barker Road, Lawrence Kansas. We used to live there before we came to Australia.” He looked out the window. “That was before my sister died.”
I patted him on the back and there was another silence, much like the one in the hospital back home. I stared out the window on my side.
“So, are you going straight to 53 Barker Road, Lawrence Kansas, or do you just want me to drop you both off as soon as we hit Lawrence, Kansas?” The driver asked. He looked through the rear view mirror expectantly.
“Uh, yeah sure, mate. Thanks.” Ashton said absently.
He continued staring out the window and I did the same.
Finding a school was what Ashton was trying to do first. He had previously been enrolled in Barker High School but he didn’t want to go back to that place. I didn’t blame him. If I didn’t want to go back to our school in Australia then I understood why he didn’t want to go back to Barker High.
High school in America was different, Ashton told me. We didn’t have years, we had grades, and we had lockers and the whole thing was indoors except for PE. We had textbooks and the teachers were not ever called Miss or Sir.
I stared at the enrolment papers that Ashton threw down onto the table next to me.
“Sunford High School,” I read out. “Is that the place?” Ashton nodded.
“I need to get a job and so do you. If we are going to do this, we have to be able to support ourselves. I just have one problem. If we live together, what are people going to say?”
“Tell them the truth?” I suggested. Ashton glanced at me sharply. “Not the whole truth! Tell them that we both went on holiday to Australia and met there and we’ve been together ever since. Then we came back here and, I found out both my parents were killed in an accident and I went to stay with you but your parents kicked me out and you came with me. We went back to Australia for a while and then negotiated with your parents to let us use their second house. They said yes and now here we are…”
We both knew that almost all of it was true and no one spoke. I turned my back to Ashton and then I turned back to him. He hugged me and I hugged him back.
There was a knock on the door and we jumped apart.
“Who is it?” I yelled out. Ashton went to the windows and lifted up the blinds.
“It’s the lady from next door, I saw her in her garden when we walked in. She has a pot plant in her hands.”
“Let her in, what harm can an old lady with a pot plant do to us?” I scoffed. Ashton rolled his eyes and opened the door. I gasped when I saw who the ‘old’ lady was.
She was young and blonde and beautiful. She had big blue eyes which were rimmed with black eyeliner. Her long blonde hair shone in the Kansas sun and she was wearing the most revealing outfit. I wondered whether these were the type of girls I would be up against at Sunford High school.
I heard Ashton inviting her in and I cursed under my breath. She stopped silently when she saw me.
“Vrailine, this is Caroline Rudd, or more commonly known as Carrie.” Ashton said brightly. I shook my head a tiny fraction.
“I think I’m going to stick with Caroline.” I said nastily. I put my hand out for her to shake, “I’m Vrailine and you’ve just met my boyfriend Ashton Cooper.” Ashton stared at me, not realising that I was already jealous of this blonde bimbo.
“Nice to meet you, Vrailine, Ashton was just telling me that you were both enrolling into my high school. Sunford High School is the best place ever, the son of the founder even goes there, he’s so popular and everyone just loves him.” She gushed. I let go of her hand and stared at her in disgust. She had no idea of the world. “So, why did you guys come to Kansas?” She asked.
Ashton put his hand around my waist and pulled me close.
“I lived in Missouri a year ago, and Vrailine lived in Australia. Her parents were killed in an accident whilst they were all here. We met at their funeral and, I know it sounds strange but we fell in love after the funeral.”
I remembered the first time we really talked to each other properly. It was Ali’s funeral. He was right. He kept on talking.
“She couldn’t go back, and went to move in with me but my parents freaked and said no and kicked her out. I realised how much I cared for her and told them I was leaving with her.” I bit back a sigh. Caroline frowned. I smiled brightly.
“Well it was nice to meet you.” I told her. She gave Ashton a small smile and gave me a fleeting glance before she ran out the door she came in. “Well she was nice.” I sniggered. Ashton shot me a look.
“You acted kind of mean though.” He argued.
“I had to make a point that she knows who she is messing with if she tries to steal my man.” I joked. “Come on Ashton, I don’t want you to run off with some blonde American chick and then leave me here alone.”
He looked at me in a way that made me back down. He looked so disappointed that I was ashamed.
“After all I have done for you, you think that some blonde bimbo will come between us? That I’ll just leave? Ari…. I have loved you since I first set eyes on you. Now that feeling may not be mutual, but you could at least pretend for both of our sakes.”
He left me standing in the kitchen and I closed my eyes and sighed.
I always said that I ruin everything.
“Ashton?” I called out. There was no answer. “I’m sorry…”